We decided not to open the presents at the party. It was getting late and people were still hanging around... the kids were getting tired and we didn't want to have to open everything up. Plus, do people really like to watch other people open gifts? I don't really. Anyway, we decided to open the gifts, just me and Mau, once the kids were asleep. Yes, we stole their opportunity to open presents... but they'll never know. That's an advantage to having little ones.
We love getting clothes. We still have all of Marco's clothes for Jonas, but some of it is not in season and it's always fun having new things to dress him up with. We love books. Having new books is awesome and we wear our books out. What we don't love so much are toys. I know kids need toys, and I wont deprive them, but I will be selective. Basically, any toy that doesn't fit into the toy chest is pretty much out... unless it's rideable or awesome. Toys with lots of parts are generally out as well... except blocks and some chunky legos that are put back into their containers after each use. We want our house to look organized... not like a toy store threw up in it. We are anti-play rooms too, by the way.
So we looked through the toys that we got and decided to try and return most of them in order to buy something we really need and might not really be able to afford... Jonas' new car seat. They'll never know we returned their fun toys to save us some green and buy something we really need. We figure, they have a lot of toys anyway... and what do they usually want to play with? Balls, cars, blocks, paper towel rolls, empty 2 liters, and balloons. Really, expensive toys are over rated.
Don't get me wrong here, I truly appreciate the thoughtfulness of each present... and I don't want to seem ungrateful. And, I'm not returning their toys to by Mama a new dress, (although it's been tempting). Just, with 2 birthdays and Christmas and a BIG family, the toy situation can become overwhelming and all consuming. We also donate the toys that the kids are no longer playing with to make room for new stuff and purge. I hope that eventually this will teach them that less is more and that we need to pass on our blessings to those less fortunate.
So anyway, we had 3 VTech toys, a $50 gift card to Target and a $20 bill that someone gave us in a card. We went to Target, returned the toys and got this car seat for... wait for it... $1.73 out of our pockets! WHAT?!
I don't feel bad about our decision... actually I'm elated. We did a practical thing and got something we really need. Our kids are still happy and not at all deprived. And besides, they'll never know the difference anyway.
And for the record, we're not TOTALLY Mr. Scrooge and Mrs. Grinch... they did get to keep 3 toys to add to their collection.